another season this country will inevitably be lost under present management. After nearly two years' hard service, my career has been brought to a close on this side of the river. If no suitable place can be found for me on the other side I shall most cheerfully retire into the ranks. I will not entirely forego the hope that the Trans-Mississippi Department may yet be placed under your command.
Respectfully and truly, your friend and servant,
RICHMOND, VA., July 5, 1864.
General W. ADAMS,
Your letter by R. Dickson received. General S. D. Lee has been instructed to communicate with General Smith on the matter to which you refer. No answer yet. It would be well for you to send a discreet officer to give to General Smith orally the information contained in your letter as to practicability of crossing the river, &c. If General Taylor with two divisions can be spared, much may be done on the east side.
HDQRS. CONFEDERATE FORCES IN NORTH, ARKANSAS,
July 5, 1864.
Brigadier General N. B. BUFORD,
Commanding U. S. Forces, Helena, Ark.:
GENERAL: I have paroled three Federal officers and sent them with an escort to your lines. I hope your Government, through its proper officials, will recognize the validity of their [parole], which will be explained to you, and that it may not be necessary for them to report to our lines again. While I regret very much the necessity which you seem to think requires you to take the action you have in regard to the officers and men of Colonel Dobbin's command, yet a sense of duty to my Government and justice to my soldiers require me to retaliate in kind, and I have therefore ordered Colonel Dobbin to h old such of the Federal officers and men now in his possession as hostages to receive the same treatment given to his officers and men now in your hands. Lieutenant Casteel is a regular Confederate officer and belong to my command.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JO. O. SHELBY,
Brigadier-General, C. S. Army.
HDQRS. CONFEDERATE FORCES IN NORTH. ARKANSAS,
July 5, 1864.
Lieutenant Colonel J. F. BELTON,
I have made no move since my last communication to you, owing to the pitiful and deplorable condition of my horses. I dislike very much to make so many excuses for my stock, yet it will be impossible for me to do much hard marching at present. I sent a detachment of fifty men, under Lieutenant McCoy, to the mouth of the Saint Francis River